After two weeks of enduring cut fingers, sore backs, and the stress of doing something for the first time, we have nearly completed roofing our barn. Nearly 100 sheets of metal, 22 feet each, have been carefully cut, folded, lifted and snapped into place. The result is breathtaking, if we may say so ourselves.

A month ago we were shaking our heads at the bids from professional roofers, and asking ourselves how we could afford to get a roof over our heads. We joked about keeping the barn roofless, as it never seems to rain anymore. The other option was do-it-yourself – no small task when you’ve chosen a kind of roof called standing seam. It sounds easy and looks beautiful but believe me, you don’t want to try this at home, especially if your home rises 24 feet off the ground and 25 mph winds arrive every afternoon to assist you.

At one memorable point three of us were sitting on the peak of the roof, looking at the installation diagrams, worried sick that we had made a major mistake by not installing the vented ridge before we laid down those 92 sheets. You can’t undo a standing seam roof – there are no visible screws to unscrew. We had called the dealer for the hundredth time for clarification but he was out to lunch. That left us with only one recourse: YouTube.

I pulled out my iPhone and sure enough, someone had loaded a video clip of how to install the vented ridge cap for our type of roof. We gathered around the small screen, wind rushing past our faces, elated and relieved when we saw that the ridge piece went on afterward. What a perfect iPhone/YouTube moment, a perfect example of that farm/technology overlap that Kestrel keeps going on about.

Now that the roof is on, we can take a breather. Let it rain. Let it rain!